A Colourful Tradition
While the traditional religious festivals of the Hindus, Muslims and other communities are celebrated in Madhya Pradesh as enthusiastically as in the rest of India, it is the tribal fairs and festivals of Madhya Pradesh, which are a celebration of the ethnic life-styles of the colourful tribes of the land. The tribal festivals in Jhabua are marked by carefree revelry, drinking bouts and exotic entertainment like cock-fighting, uninhibited dancing, etc. The casual visitor often fails to appreciate adequately the genuine and strong tradition of democracy in tribal society, the harmonious living with nature, the respected status accorded to women, the amicable sharing of the community resources.
Among the cultural festivals of Madhya Pradesh, the Khajuraho Festival of Dances and the Tansen Music Festival in Gwalior are poignant celebrations of Indian classical dance and music.
Bhagoria Haat, Jhabua »
Khajuraho Festival of Dances »
Tansen Music Festival, Gwalior »
All India Kalidasa Festival (Held in November)
The Kalidasa Samaroh, the festival of classical Sanskrit Literature, Traditional Theatre and arts, is held every year as a tribute to the great poet playwright Kalidasa. Mahakavi Kalidasa is known as the greatest repository of our national heritage.
The colourful evening of Kalidasa festival starts with the original Sanskrit play of Kalidasa presented in a traditional style. For the next six days, festival goes with the presentation of classical dramas, dances, ballets and classical music concerts showing the greatness of Indian arts and culture.
Another attraction of this festival is an all India Kalidasa painting and sculpture exhibition inspired by the works of Kalidasa. The works are created by the artists in Indian traditional or folk style.
Thus, Kalidasa festival is a prestigious programme of Madhya Pradesh, which has glorious history of several decades. The first Kalidasa Festival, organised by the Madhya Pradesh Government, was inaugurated by the First President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1958.
In short, Kalidasa Festival is dedicated to Indian Traditional Literature, Art and Culture and it is a tribute to our national poet Mahakavi Kalidasa, a great symbol of ever flowing Indian traditional literature representing the greatness of India all over the world.
Nimar Utsav, Maheshwar (Held in November)
Maheshwar - A small town situated at the banks of the holy river Narmada and known as the one time capital of the great Holkar Queen Devi Ahilya is a famous place of pilgrimage and is also known for its world famous Ahilya Ghat and Sarees. Nimar Festival is one of the rare festivals in the country, which is organised at the banks of river Narmada to symbolise the age-old culture, which flows through such rivers in the country. The three days Nimar Festival is a comprehensive feast of music, dance, drama, boating and canoeing. This festival is organised every year on the eve of Kartik Purnima, full moon night and continues for three days.
Lokranjan, Khajuraho (Held in December)
Folk and tribal dances of ancient India. This is an effort to conduct various forms of dances at one platform. Lokranjan festival is organised in Khajuraho by the Adivasi Lok Kala Academy during 8-12 in Dec. for the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. It is a symbol of cultural awareness.
Khajuraho, an ancient town of Chandel dynasty is famous for its architecture and sculpture all over the world.
Lokrang, Bhopal (26 to 31 January - 2006)
For the last 19 ears, on the great and auspicious clarion of the Republic Day, The Academy has been organising a five-day festival of tribal and folk, performing arts in Bhopal. This festival is entirely based on the rich folk tradition of the estate and the country and is known as LOKRANG. In the series of Indian culture folk traditions so deeply interwoven in people's lives, the festival is particularly focused on single geographical and geo-cultural unit of the country besides Madhya Pradesh State's own. This year the LOKRANG will be focused on the Western States of India; Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Daman-Diu and Dadar Nagar Haveli.
Alauddin Khan Samaroh, Maihar (16 to 17 February - 2006)
To commemorate the memory of the great music maestro of the 20th Century Padma Vibhushan late Baba Alauddin Khan Saheb, the Academy celebrates a Samaroh (function / festival) every year at his well-known seat of music, Maihar, in district Satna. This Samaroh has continuously been celebrated since 1970-80. In this Samaroh, besides a cherished chain of celebrated vocal and instrumental musicians performing in the style of late Baba Khan Saheb, a number of other talented artists, both the young and the veteran ones also perform classical music and dance in order to pay their musical tribute to the maestro Baba Alauddin Khan. The Samaroh is held every year in the month of February at Maihar in which music lovers and performers from all over the country and even abroad assemble and participate. The Samaroh has assumed countrywide recognition and reputation and it is one of the most prestigious programmes of the academy.
Kumar Gandharva Samaroh, Dewas (8 April - 2006)
The academy has been organising Kumar Gandharva Samaroh every year at Dewas on his birth anniversary, 8th April, since 1992-93 to cherish his memory and to offer a musical tribute to the great classical vocalist of our time. Besides the most magical music style of folk-classical vocal blend of late Shri Kumar Gandharva, a good number of well-established and talented young artists also perform and exhibit their music talent. Till date a number of great music performers and singers have participated in the Samaroh making it a great musical event of the country. To celebrate the 75th birth anniversary of Pandit Kumar Gandharva, a chain of music programmes were held throughout the year in various towns a few years ago, which has earned great success. This Samaroh of the academy has become most prestigious and countrywide famous.